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Not so, when diadem'd with rays divine, Touch'd with the Flame that breaks from Virtue's

Shrine,
Her Priestess Muse forbids the Good to die,
And opes the Temple of Eternity.

235
There, other Trophies deck the truly brave,
Than such as Anstis casts into the Grave;
Far other Stars than * and ** wear,
And may descend to Mordington from STAIR;

(Such

NOTES.

Prior burlesqued this Ode with infinite pleasantry and humour. And the same may be faid of Prior's Epijtle to Boileau. Louis XIV. who had a personal regard for Prior, did not, we may well imagine, know that he had ridiculed his favourite Poet. Another French flatterer read to Malherbe some fulsome verses, in which he had represented France as moving out of its place to receive the King. “ Though this,” said the honest Malherbe,“ was in my time, yet I proteit I do not remember it.” WARTON VER. 233. Not so, when diadem'd with rays divine,

Touch'd with the Flame that breaks from Virtue's

Sbrine. ] The whole of this passage is highly animated and beautiful. The word dialem'd has a lofty and striking effect. In the whole passage, Pope had a view to Horace and Milton. VER. 235. End opes] From Milton's Comus, ver. 14. " That opes the Palace of Eternity.”

WARTON. VER. 237. Anstis] The chief Herald at Arms. It is the curtom at the funeral of great peers, to cast into the grave

the broken staves and enfigns of honour.

Pope. Ver. 238. For other Stars than * and * wear,] That is, Kent and Grafton. The next line wants explanation. I have fome notion Lord Mordi,gton kept a gaming-house. BENNET.

VER. 239. Stair ;] John Dalrymple Earl of Stair, Knight of the Thistle, ferved in all the wars under the Duke of Marlborough; and afterwards as Embassador in France.

Pope,

(Such as on Hough's unsully'd Mitre shine, 240
Or beam, good Digby, from a Heart like thine ;)
Let Envy howl, while Heav'n's whole Chorus sings,
And bark at Honour not conferr’d by Kings;
Let Flatt'ry fick’ning see the Incense rise,
Sweet to the World, and grateful to the Skies: 245
Truth guards the Poet, fanctifies the line,
And makes immortal, Verse as mean as mine.

Yes, the last Pen for Freedom let me draw,
When Truth stands trembling on the edge of Law;

Here,

NOTES.

VER. 240, 241. Hough and Digby] Dr. John Hough, Biship of Worceiter; and the Lord Digby. The one an affertor of the Church of England in oppofition to the false measures of King James II. The other as firmly attached to the cause of that King. Both acting out of principle, and equally men of bonour and virtue.

Pope. Ver. 240. (Such as on Hough's unsull;'d mirre shine,] Dr. Jobn Hough, successively Bishop of Oxford, Lichfield, and Worcester, was born in 1655, and died May 8, 1743, at the very advanced age of ninety two, after an episcopacy of fifty three years.

WAKEFIELD. VER. 240. on Hough's uns lly’d] In the fifty-seventh Pe frin Letter, is an elegant and well written eulogium on this excellent prelate, by Lord Lyttelton. These Letters have been too much depreciated and neglected.

WARTON. Ver. 249. When Truth stands trembling ]

England, with all thy faults, I love thee still,
My country! and while yet a nook is left
Where English minds and manners may be found,
Shall be constrain’d to love thee. Though thy clime
Be fickle, and thy year,

most
part,

deform'd
With dripping rains, or wither'd by a frost,
I would not yet exchange thy fullen skies
And fields without a flower, for. warmer France
With all her vines : nor for Ausonia's groves
Of golden fruitage and her myrtle bow'rs.

Lines

Here, Last of Britons! let your Names be read;
Are none, none living ? let me praise the Dead,
And for that Cause which made your Fathers shine,
Fall by the Votes of their degen’rate Line.

Fr. Alas! alas ! pray end what you began,
And write next winter more Esays on Man. 255

VARIATIONS.

VER. 255. in the MS.

Quit, quit thefe themes and write Essays on Man.

NOTES.

Lines of the tender and benevolent Cowper, which I here infert, in order to put us again in good humour with our country, after having just seen her placed in a disagreeable light.

WARTON VER. 253. of their degen' rate Line.] Such was the language at that time, used by our Author and his friends and associates. Lord Chesterfield ends the account of his friend Hammond, author of the Love Elegies, with these words : “ He looked back with a kind of religious awe and delight, upon these glorious and happy times of Greece and Rome, when wisdom, virtue, and liberty formed the only triumvirates; in these sentiments he lived, and would have lived, even in these times; in these senti. ments he died; but in these times too, ut non erepta a diis immortalibus vita, fed donata, mors videatur.

In every age, and in every nation, there is a constant progresion of manners ; “ For the manners of a people seldom stand still, but are either POLISHING or Spoiling."

WARTON. VER. 254. pray end what] We must own that these Dialogues, excellent as they are, exhibit many and strong marks of our Author's petulance, party-spirit, and self-importance ; and of assuming to himself the character of censor-general ; who, alas ! if he had poffeffed a thousand times more genius, integrity, and ability, than he actually enjoyed, could not have altered or amended the manners of a rich and commercial, and consequently of a luxurious and disipated nation. But we make ourfelves unhappy, by hoping to possess incompatible things ; we want to have wealth without corruption, and liberty without virtue! WARTON.

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Ver. ult.] This was the last Poem of the kind printed by our Author, with a resolution to publish no more; but to enter thus, in the most plain and solemn manner he could, a sort of PROTEST against that insuperable corruption and depravity of manners, which he had been so unhappy as to live to fee. Could he have hoped to have amended any, he had continued those attacks; but bad men were grown so shameless and so powerful, that Ridicule was become as unsafe as it was ineffectual. The Poem raised him, as he knew it would, some enemies ; but he had reason to be satisfied with the approbation of good men, and the testimony of his own conscience.

Pope.

. Could Pope, with his good sense, unless self-love had blinded him, seriously believe, that his pen could effect such mighty purposes, even if the objects of his Satire were so notorious, that every good and wise man would have been on his fide, and nothing was dictated by private spleen, and political asperity! Alas, we might say, in the language of Poor Cowper,

“ Leviathan is not so tam'd; Laugh'd at, he laughs again, and stricken hard Turns to the stroke his adamantine scales."

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